Friday, 20 March 2015


Rather a dearth of items this time.  I am waiting for a hi-res scan of Guillemot on the Daunt station, which I hope will show the Commissioners’ inspectors actually inside the lowered lantern in 1905. It’s one David Ryan and I found during my visit to Dublin in January, but the National Library folk are having difficulty finding it again – probably due to my poor note-taking. But they are doing their best.
   I did read somewhere that the day-markers on the lantern or mizzen masts were unique to lightship stations, but unless I am missing something, this is not so. There are differences for sure (Photo 881), Barrels has a very appropriately shaped marker, but many go for a simple ball – or are they simple?  

 The photographs from that era are not all that clear, but I suppose there may be noticeable differences (they would have to be noticeable from a distance) that I cannot discern in the photos.  This is a pity as it would be an aid to identification – not of the actual vessel perhaps, but of the station being served, which is a step along the way. For instance, ignoring the vessels with a single ball marker, we could probably be confident that the lightship supporting the Dublin Bay regatta is from Arklow station. (Photo 882)

   Similarly, the left hand vessel in Kingston Harbour in 1907, (Photo 883) was from Blackwater station; the middle one is anybody’s guess);  and the one on the right is from Coningbeg station (actually I cheat – there is only one ball but the name is visible on the side!).

  Come on all you nautical types, were the single round balls different?